Networking

F5, Blue Coat unveil WAN optimization upgrades

The last couple of weeks have seen a flurry of product announcements from WAN optimization and application acceleration vendors. Here are some of the highlights:

F5 gets tight with VMware

F5 Networks announced integration between its BIG-IP gear and VMware’s vSphere and VMware vCenter Server. The tie-in is aimed at helping IT administrators improve greater control over virtual environments. For instance, the integration lets VMware vCenter Server provide specific instructions on how F5’s gear should handle application traffic for newly provisioned or deprovisioned virtual machines. Instructions can include adding or removing virtual machines from BIG-IP's load balancing pool or holding connections until the virtual machines are confirmed to be responsive, F5 says. In another example, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager can work with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager to redirect application traffic to an alternative data center or to the cloud if there’s a site failure, and ensure that applications remain available.

Blue Coat boosts traffic-spotting capabilities

A new software plug-in from Blue Coat Systems helps PacketShaper appliances tame bandwidth hogs such as Spotify, a peer-to-peer streaming music application that uses client computers to create a library of music. The plug-in can identify traffic from Spotify so IT managers can limit bandwidth for the application, block it or reduce its priority to protect the performance of other business applications. Spotify says its users listen, on average, more than an hour per user per day, and the recommended bandwidth requirement is 256 Kbps. The software plug-in for Spotify is available now and is free to PacketShaper customers with current maintenance agreements.

Level 3 speeds big city connections

Level 3 Communications announced its deployment of a low-latency fiber route between New York City and Chicago — two of the largest U.S. financial centers — using its shortest available path technology to reduce transmission delays. The new route offers aggregate bandwidth of multiple 40 Gbps connections to accommodate traffic generated by hedge funds, investment brokers, financial exchanges and other market participants. Already more than 80 Gbps of live financial trading traffic is being carried over the new route, Level 3 says.

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